TV antiques dealer Tim Hogarth today pledged to carry on trading, despite another robbery at one of his Bradford shops.
Shop manager Amanda Ryan was forced to hand over £500 after the armed raider pointed a gun at her.
The masked man then grappled with a woman customer who tried to stop him leaving the Cash for Gold pawnbrokers in James Street, Bradford city centre, on Thursday lunchtime, before escaping.
It is the fourth raid at Mr Hogarth’s two Bradford premises in a year, but the first armed robbery.
Mr Hogarth, who stars in TV’s The Secret Dealer, said: “This is the most serious incident we have had. It is a sign of the times.
“It isn’t us in particular – other shops have also been targeted. But that doesn’t make it any easier for me and my staff.
“Everybody is shaken up about it. But we just have to carry on, it’s our livelihood. We will keep going, we are not going to let them beat us.”
Miss Ryan said a man had been looking through the window as she served a female customer. When the customer left the shop, the man came in, holding a carrier bag.
She said: “He had what I believed to be a gun. It was a silver metal object sticking out of the bag. He was holding it through the bag and pointing it towards me.
“He had a scarf up to his nose and an anorak with drawstrings and a hood over his head. He said: ‘Give me the money.’ “I ran into the back but I could hear him shouting.
“I grabbed a box containing the float, which was about £500, and put it on the counter. He opened it to make sure there was money in it, then picked it up to leave.
“The woman customer came back to the door and tried to close it to keep him in.
“I was shouting at her to let him go, but she put her arms out to grab him and punch him. He got away with the box and ran off towards the top of James Street.
“I didn’t know whether it was real or fake, but it looked like a gun he was pointing at me. I was petrified. If he had asked me to dance I would have done it.”
Last month a gang of masked robbers, wielding a hammer and an axe, attacked Nathan and Co jewellers in James Street. The robbers smashed their way through protective glass and grabbed jewellery, leaving staff shaken but uninjured.
Police confirmed a male suspect entered Cash for Gold and threatened the store manager with what was believed to have been a firearm.
A spokesman said the suspect left with several thousand pounds in cash.
He was a white man, around 30 years old, tall, slim and wore black gloves, a black scarf and a blue jacket with the hood up. He was also carrying a blue JD Sports carrier bag.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Gill, at Bradford South CID, on (01274) 376596 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.